On the way back, we had time and were on vacation, we decided to visit Tiago Sampaio.
Farmer, winemaker, winemaker, oenologist, restaurateur and merchant - Tiago Sampaio, an authentic one-man show, is responsible for the creation of Folias de Baco, Ohlo no Pé and Uívo with all its flavors and pleasures.
In the Alto Douro, as a child, in his grandfather's piggyback, Tiago Sampaio had his first contact with agriculture and the world of wine. In this environment he playfully got to know a craft that was born out of pure curiosity and is present in his current work area and research.
In order to build a future in these fields, he followed the academic path that has enabled him to develop a career as a winemaker and oenologist. He started at the Conde de S. Bento agricultural college in Santo Tirso and then went to Vila Real for five years at university. The agricultural engineering course he completed at Trás-os-Montes gave him the pass for an internship in Oregon, USA, under the supervision of Maria Carmo Vasconcelos, who is one of the world's foremost Pinot Noir luminaries. There, Tiago spent the next five years earning his doctorate in viticulture and oenology at Oregon State University.
In Oregon, Tiago internalized modern philosophies and aesthetics of winemaking without forgetting his roots in the Douro. Since returning to the local winery, he has created his project, which has garnered a lot of attention ever since. Its vineyards are predominantly in the Alto Douro, in the Cima-Corgo sub-region, where the land is rough, tough and challenging. Its vines cling to the slopes of slate and granite at an altitude of between 500 and 700m above sea level. Tiago essentially combines the traditions of his homeland with learned modern technology.
Planted about 80 years ago, field blends of red, white and mixed native varieties allow Tiago to create complex wines. He has set his sights higher and is pushing the limits of his curiosity. The result is what some might not expect from such a traditional region.
He is also one of the pioneers of Pet-Nat in Portugal.